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Faculty Profile

College of Integrative Studies CIS

NGOEI Wen-Qing

Full-time Faculty

Associate Professor of History; Associate Dean (External Engagement); Member, Institutional Review Board; Lee Kong Chian Fellow

Dr. Ngoei Wen-Qing joined SMU in 2020. A historian of foreign policy and international affairs, he specializes in U.S. relations with Southeast Asia. His expertise includes the global history of the Cold War, and the study of empire and decolonization. He received his PhD in History from Northwestern University and completed postdoctoral stints at Northwestern and Yale University before his return to Singapore. Dr. Ngoei’s book, Arc of Containment: Britain, the United States, and Anticommunism in Southeast Asia (Cornell University Press) traces how British neocolonialism intertwined with Southeast Asian anti-communist nationalism to usher the region from formal colonialism to U.S. hegemony. His essays on the Sino-U.S. rivalry, the Cold War in Asiathe domino theoryBritish neocolonialism, and race and imperialism in Southeast Asia have appeared in anthologies and journals such as Diplomatic History, the Journal of American-East Asian Relations and International Journal. His current research concerns Southeast Asia in international history from the 1970s onward: one project examines how Southeast Asia’s culture-makers–novelists, playwrights, poets and artists–affected the region’s foreign relations; another analyses how Singapore-superpower relations from the 1980s to the present shaped the regional order. For more information, visit:


  • PhD in History, Northwestern University, USA, 2015
  • MA in History, Northwestern University, USA, 2010
  • PgD, National Institute of Education, Singapore, 2002
  • BA, National University of Singapore, Singapore, 2000

Research Interests

  • U.S. Foreign Relations History and American Empire
  • Decolonisation
  • Comparative Colonialism
  • Global Cold War
  • Race and Diaspora

Course(s) Taught in SMU

  • Big Questions
  • Making Peace in, and with, a World at War